The Gibraltar Government must address the day-to-day concerns of private businesses and not focus solely on the wider issues of Brexit, the Chamber of Commerce has warned in its annual report.
The Chamber praised the government’s handling of the challenges arising from Brexit but said centralised decision-making meant many issues that impacted its members and the wider business community were not being tackled.
In a foreword to its latest annual report published today, the Chamber echoed a message it had already signalled earlier this year to a lukewarm reaction from the government.
“Our comments were met with a response from the government that some less important things would need to be relegated or suffer delays due to the amount of time which the Brexit discussions were taking,” the Chamber said.
“This is simply not good enough.”
The foreword to the report called on the Gibraltar Government to put a greater focus on engagement with the private sector against the backdrop of Brexit.
This, it said, would help the local business community to better prepare for the impact of the UK and Gibraltar’s withdrawal from the EU next year.
“In the last year, there appears to have been a reluctance by government to engage with the private sector, much less to address any grievances they have,” the Chamber said.
“Economies work best when public and private sectors work with government for the community as a whole.”
“Now is not the time for government to ignore the concerns of the private sector.”
“Companies need the support and cooperation of the government and its various departments to address matters which have remained unresolved for too long.”
“The excuse may be that the Brexit discussions are taking up a disproportionate amount of the government’s time, but not everyone in the government is involved in these discussions,” the Chamber added.
“Perhaps decision-making powers have become too concentrated in the current administration.”
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